“I feel like it was just such sudden news and my heart breaks for Tom and Erin,” the 52-year-old DWTS judge said on an episode of The Talk airing July 21. “He’s been there from day one and we’re just a bonded family and I love them both so much. And I cried when I heard the news, as well as I think a lot of our fans did.”
Inaba’s co-host, Sharon Osborne, chimed in to share her own disappointment as a fan of the show saying, “I’m going to miss him so much.” She continued, “They are professionals. They will go on with their great careers and do extremely well. It’s just that I know that as a viewer, I will miss them both.”
As for the news that Tyra Banks will be taking over as the host and executive producer of the competition show, Inaba shared her excitement while also clarifying that Banks has been mislabeled as the first Black woman to host Dancing With the Stars.
“I just want to clarify because Season 1 we had Lisa Canning, who was a co-host with Tom Bergeron, so I don’t want anybody to forget that. And I don’t think Tyra was actually the one saying that. GMA asked her the question and she responded, and so I don’t want there to be any negative connotation with that at all,” Inaba said. “Also, I don’t think that’s how we should be labeling her. She’s our new host, period. It has nothing to do with the color of her skin.”
During Banks’s interview with Good Morning America, she teased that the show’s upcoming season will be “next level.” On The Talk, Inaba acknowledged that it will certainly be different.
“[Banks is] like a visionary. She’s a strong, powerful woman. Her show, The Tyra Banks Show won Emmys. I mean, I think we’re in good hands,” Inaba said. “It’s different, the fans are going to have to get used to it, I understand that, but I think we should welcome her.”
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